In his writings between 1941 and 1951, Michael Polanyi developed a distinctive view of liberal social and political life. Planned organizations are a part of all modern societies, according to Polanyi, but in liberal modernity he highlighted dynamic social orders whose agents freely adjust their efforts in light of the initiatives and accomplishments of their peers. Liberal society itself is the most extensive of dynamic orders, with the market economy, and cultural orders of scientific research, Protestant religious inquiry, and common law among its constituents. Liberal society and its dynamic orders of culture are, Polanyi explained, directed at transcendent ideals (truth, beauty, and justice). He saw knowledge, rules of practice, and standards of value in these orders as being preserved in traditions that inform and constrain the initiatives of their members. Investing faith in a cultural enterprise, Polanyi's agents choose to act responsibly, dedicating their freedom to an ideal end. They are custodians and cultivators of the heritage of their dynamic order.
Field of Research
219999 History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified
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